Aguero hits 100, but Newcastle earn a point against Man City
Argentine striker is the second fastest to 100 Premier League goals, after Magpies legend Shearer
Newcastle 1 Manchester City 1
Sergio Aguero scored his 100th Premier League goal as Manchester City secured a point that moves them one clear of Arsenal in the race to secure the automatic qualification spot for next season's Champions League.
The Sky Blues remain in third, on 61 points, one more than the Gunners but seven shy of second place Tottenham.
Aguero put the visitors one up on 14 minutes when he headed in Aleksandar Kolarov's free-kick although television replays showed the Argentine striker was clearly offside. Nonetheless, Newcastle recovered from the setback and Vurnon Anita equalised on the half hour with a low curling effort.
Both goalkeepers had busy nights ensuring there were no more goals with Joe Hart saving from Georginio Wijnaldum and Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow doing well to deny Jesus Navas and Kevin de Bruyne.
Despite the point, the result leaves Newcastle second bottom although they are now just a point behind Sunderland (who have a game on hand on the Magpies) and two adrift of Norwich. "Everyone is doing everything they can to try to stay up," said Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez. "Hopefully we have the momentum and we have to keep believing."
The Newcastle players will need that belief at the weekend when they travel to Liverpool, one of Benitez's former clubs. "Liverpool are doing well in the Europa League and I wish them well in that, but hopefully we can go there and come away with three points," said the Spaniard, who's won just one of his six games in charge since replacing Steve McClaren last month. "That's two games in a row where we've had a great performance and had a great connection with the fans. To see the players perform like that with passion and commitment, hopefully we can keep that level in the final four games. We'll keep going and see where we are going into the last game, but with this kind of fight you have to be optimistic for the remaining matches."
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is also keenly aware of the significance of the remaining matches, not just because of Premier League aspirations but with one eye on next week's Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid. "It's very important now that we make some rotations as we play this weekend and then against Real next Tuesday," explained Pellegrini. "We didn't play as well as we did in the victory at Chelsea [last Saturday], and that's maybe because we couldn't recover after playing so well at Stamford Bridge."
As for Aguero's century of goals in just 147 matches - a Premier League strike rate bettered only by former England forward Alan Shearer - Pellegrini urged the Argentine ace not to let up between now and the end of May. "I'm happy for him because it's not easy to score that amount of goals in such a short space of time. Hopefully he can keep scoring like that for the rest of the season."